Product of the day – alcool ménager

Alcool ménager is one of those French cleaning products that I never came across in the UK – cleaning alcohol.

It’s a denatured alcohol that’s available in every supermarket and DIY store, and comes in plain (labelled Alcool à bruler, because it’s used for starting barbeques or burning in shepherd’s lamps) and a number of scents, including vanilla, lemon, peppermint and lavender, for cleaning purposes.

It’s a great product for cleaning white goods, door handles, floors where an animal has soiled, pet cages, computer keyboards, bathrooms, etc. I first became aware of it when the French cleaner I had for three brief weeks asked me to buy it for her to use. My local restaurant uses it to wipe down all the surfaces, including sinks and toilet handles. Just squirt it on and wipe it off with paper towels or a microfibre cloth (I use paper towels, then use them as firelighters), or decant it into a plant sprayer.

Alcool à bruler is cheaper, but the smell is a bit fierce, so I do tend to stump up for the scented stuff – peppermint in the bathroom, lemon in the kitchen and vanilla or lavender for use in the living room.

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